WASHINGTON – Sens. Tom Carper and Ted Kaufman (both D-Del.) today voted to extend federal unemployment insurance for up to 14 additional weeks for the state’s jobless, noting additional benefits are needed in Delaware where unemployment stands at more than eight percent.
Late today, the Senate passed the Workers, Home Owners, Business Assistance Act (H.R. 3548) by a vote of 98 to 0.
“This legislation helps the unemployed, homeowners and businesses suffering losses in Delaware,” Sen. Carper said. “Today, more than one-third of those on unemployment have been without work for more than 6 months. So with this additional unemployment assistance, workers in Delaware already receiving unemployment can now receive a total of 47 weeks of assistance to help provide for their families while they look for new jobs.”
“I am pleased to have supported this bill that provides much-needed benefits for the men and women in Delaware looking for work in these difficult times,” Sen. Kaufman said. “The bill also includes provisions to help the Delaware housing market by extending benefits for homebuyers and critical tax relief for Delaware businesses. Creating more jobs and taking care of those hurt by this recession is my number one priority. These three actions will help those in need and at the same time help to get the Delaware economy moving forward.”
The bill also extends the $8,000 tax credit for first-time homebuyers who close by the end of June. And, it provides a new federal tax credit of up to $6,500 to homebuyers who have lived in the same house for five years and want to buy a new one.
And, more Delawareans can take advantage of these federal tax credits because this legislation increases the income limitations for both these homebuyer tax credits to $125,000 for individuals and $225,000 for couples.
“For struggling businesses, this bill lowers their tax burden so they have more cash to help keep doors open and keep workers on the payroll,” Sen. Carper said.
Specifically, this bill expands and extends a “net operating loss” deduction that allows businesses suffering losses during this recession to use those losses to offset profits from up to five years ago for tax purposes.
Finally, the senators stressed that this bill is fiscally responsible and does not add to thebudget deficit because the entire $21 billion cost is fully paid for with non-controversial offsets.
Legislation is expected to pass the House of Representatives soon and be sent to the president for his signature.